September 10, 2008
‘Awesome’ Storm Tonight is Last Thing Flood Victims Need
By Rhona Ganguly
West Midlands homeowners recovering from the effects of the weekend's floods have been warned to brace themselves for an "awesome storm" tonight .
Despite some respite today with expected drier conditions, MeteoGroup UK predicted a heavy storm tonight and heavy showers for Friday.
A spokesman described the recent weather as "fairly typical" for autumn.
He said: "We are at that time of year where we are between seasons and the weather is very changeable.
"It is looking pretty dry for Wednesday, with not a great deal of rain around but it is not a sunny day by any means.
"There will be a fairly awesome storm coming in on Wednesday overnight to Thursday and there will be rain around on Thursday.
"Temperatures will reach a high of 20C (68F). By Thursday a strong wind will take the edge off the temperatures.
"There will be heavy rain on Friday, which is looking the wettest. That rain may hang around for some time."
Meteo Group UK's warning came as the region continued to clean up after the weekend's torrential rain, with the emergency services still dealing with a number of weather-related incidents.
On Monday, ambulance crews from Staffordshire sent to help a woman who had fallen and broken her ankle also found themselves treating a man who had collapsed and fallen into a fast-flowing river.
West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to the Stepping Stones, in Dovedale, on the Staffordshire and Derbyshire border to aid a woman, aged about 60, from Kent.
She had been walking beside the River Dove, which was fast- flowing after the recent rain, when she fell onto a rocky slope and fractured her right ankle.
As the Community Paramedic Officer made her way to the scene, she came across a second patient, a 71-year-old man from Bewdley, Worcestershire, who had collapsed only seconds earlier while out walking with his wife.
He had fallen into the river up to his waist and another man, who was walking in the area, came to his aid and helped pull him out of the water.
Aircrew paramedic Steph Cormack said: "When the CPO arrived, the man was unconscious and wasn't breathing.
"She immediately started using her advanced life support skills and managed to get a pulse back."
The female patient was taken by air ambulance to a nearby car park, where a land ambulance was waiting to take her to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire.
The air ambulance pilot then re-positioned the aircraft onto a small island in the river that was close to the second patient.
The man was then carried through the water to the aircraft and airlifted to the same hospital.
Yesterday the Environment Agency asked people in the region to remain vigilant and keep up-to-date with the current weather and flood warnings for the area.
It said although river levels in the area were beginning to fall from those seen at the weekend, the ground remained saturated and many rivers were still higher than usual for the time of year.
Last night there were 25 flood warnings in place across the Midlands.
Mark Sitton-Kent, the Environment Agency's regional director, said: "Our people have been out all weekend clearing any blockages from rivers, erecting flood defence barriers where needed, working with partner agencies and talking to local communities about the risks of flooding.
"We will continue to work round the clock to do all we can to minimise the risks that people face.
"But as the wet weather continues we need people to continue to be aware of the current situation in their area, and make any necessary preparations."
Environment Agency Floodline 0845 988 1188 or www.environment- agency.gov.uk/floodline.
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